JT Eberhard of the blog What Would JT Do? had two posts this week that showcase two frankly disgusting reactions to the death of Robin Williams. Interestingly, they come from opposite sides of the religious perspective.
From the atheist side of things, we have PZ Myers, who fortunately does not speak for all of us. JT has a very well-expressed reaction to his comments already. The short version is that PZ Myers belittles the suffering of Robin Williams and those who grieve him because he was rich and white, and many minorities suffer greater things every day. While it is true more media attention should be paid to the great suffering of non-privileged individuals worldwide, the simple fact is that all human beings suffer. Someone losing a leg does not make my stubbed toe hurt any less. Police brutality towards blacks does not make depression less of a problem.
From the Christian side of things, we have the idea that Robin Williams’ problem was lack of Jesus. As I explained earlier this week, Christianity can aggravate depression; it certainly does not magically cure it, as we can see from the Christians who have committed suicide. In gay teens, it appears to actively cause depression, by telling them that homosexuality is sinful and forcing them to try to change something they can’t. I have nothing else to add to JT’s commentary, which is quite good.